|The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, the nose and throat. It can appear at any time during the year with its lowest incidence in the summer months. It should last only a day and clear up generally without any treatment. In the winter months the symptoms of a cold might be the prelude to an attack of influenza which is a more serious condition.|
A general feeling of being unwell with little or no fever and perhaps a headache are the initial symptoms. You can have a nasal discomfort with a watery discharge and sneezing. Throat symptoms consist of a mild soreness rather than a pain associated with hoarseness. A cough with scanty sputum may occur. Complications are rare, they may consist of a secondary bacterial infection of the sinuses, ears, throat and chest.
No specific treatment is necessary, but for a heavy cold rest and take plenty of fluids and a light diet.
Aspirin for adults and paracetamol for children will help the discomfort. A nasal spray to relieve nasal congestion may be needed.
Large doses of Vitamin C, over 1g daily are claimed by some to effect a cure, as is a hot lemon drink laced with alcohol. Vitamin C in regular doses during the winter months is claimed to help prevent virus infections such as the common cold and influenza - the evidence for this is not very convincing.
It is sensible to have your local doctor advise on treatment in the case of the elderly and those with chronic lung or heart conditions.
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|Spinal Injuries||The Common Cold|
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